Leica M for color slide film...

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by asimrazakhan, Jan 18, 2010.

  1. I almost always see photos taken with Leicas and other rangefinders to be black and white photos. And most of them are street or war photos.
    How do you feel about a Leica M system using color slide film? More specifically, how do you feel about using a Leica M for travel photography (where there is a combination of scenes, landscapes, places of interest, environmental portraits, etc) using color slide film?
    Thanks for your thoughts.
    By the way, some of you may think i'm just asking random questions, but i genuinely take interest in every response i get. I am slowly working my way into a Leica system. I may be taking the plunge in a matter of days or weeks.
  2. asim,
    there are plenty of guys still shooting e6 with rangefinders.
  3. They work very well with color slide -- just as well as with black and white film. The M7 is probably the best M for shooting slide film since it has an electronically timed shutter -- this has two advantages. 1. It is more accurate to the marked speed than mechanically timed shutters. 2. In conjunction with AE, it has a stepless shutter -- it will time the shutter to close exactly according to the metering reading, rather than in manual mode where you have to set it to the closest 1/2 stop. 1/3 of a stop changes are pretty easily visible with slides, so this can be a nice thing to have if your metering technique is good.
    From a lens perspective, Leica has excellent color rendition, especially with the APO and ASPH lenses. The long history of lenses gives you a lot of choice as well -- everything from very soft and pastel lenses like the 50mm Summarit (1.5, not 2.5), and thambar to the 50/1.4 ASPH, 75/2 APO ASPH and so on.
  4. I've shot slide film with my M2s and I think the shutters are more than accurate enough for the job.
  5. No problem at all, even with a meterless M. Here are my slides (mostly slides) from NZ last year. There are a few C41s but not the highlands. http://www.flickr.com/photos/richardgm2/sets/72157618991545830/
  6. I take my M7 with me as my vacation camera: Provia 100F and K25 (for a few months, anyway). For the reasons which makes it a great street shooter (size/weight, inconspicuous appearance, tiny lenses), it's also great for vacations. I use my LTM bodies for B&W.
  7. SCL


    I used my M4 with Kodachrome & Ektachrome for a number of years along with Plus-x & Tri-x. The slides were and are great. Still have a few rolls of Kodachrome to use up in the next few months. Sadly none of my family or friends like slide shows anymore....so I end up digitizing it for them to see on their PCs.
  8. I often shoot color slide film in my M4 and M6 for travel pictures. I have a few rolls of Kodachrome to finish this year and I also have several rolls of Fujichrome E-6. I'll be loading Kodachrome in my M4 when I go to Baltimore this month. The Leica lenses work particularly well on slide film, I love how Leica lenses render colors on slides.
  9. My final six rolls of Kodachrome (three 25, three 200) were all shot with either my Leica IIIa or my Canon 7s. Came out wonderful.
    The low contrast and high sharpness of 1950's era Leica lenses were a great pairing with Kodachrome. The low contrast tamed the high contrast of the film a bit, and Kodachrome 25 and 64 were insanely sharp films.
  10. Leica M cameras are well suited for photography with any type of 35mm film and for any subjects that can be covered with rangefinder-coupled lenses up to 135mm (and much more with the Visoflex). While the Leica M may be the camera of choice for "street photography" (whatever that is) these cameras will serve well for travel photography.
    As David mentioned, the shutter speed accuracy is not really an issue. The metering technique, however, is. Slide film does not have a great deal of latitude and the meters are calibrated for 18% gray so you will want to shoot a few rolls of film to see how the highlights and shadows look with your setup.
    I would suggest starting with an M and 50mm lens. This should serve you well for a lot of subjects and you can use the frame lever to see the field of view of the other lenses. As time goes on you will want to add another lens or two, but wait till you feel the need.
  11. I shoot 70% of slide films, the rest being B&W.
    All my color photography is E6, when hiking or travelling almost
    exclusively with my M6TTL/M6, and sometimes with my CM.
    You can have a look at my folder:


    I use my older Ms for B&w only. Metering is more convenient with a
    built-in meter.
    Have fun shooting slides and viewing them !

  12. I have 10 Kodachromes which I will shoot with my Leica M6 before the only processing lab closes at the end of the year.
  13. I only shoot slide film with my metered Leicas and it's always perfectly exposed. Now, I use C-41 with the meterless bodies I have (M3 and M4-2) simply because it's more tolerant about exposure mistakes.

    There you go!
  14. I shoot K64 and K200 almost exclusively with M6 and two M7's. The M6 is used for flash with a 21mm ASPH lens and the M7's get a SF24D if light is needed. I do weddings and a little commercial work in the field with the Leica's, preferring the M7's for the already mentioned reasons. After 12/2010, it will be Fuji color reversal films. I use TMax when the situation calls for it such as indoor avaliable light and I don't want to use a flash such as sporting events. Some situations such as pool matches just beg for B&W.
    Use whatever emulsion you want.-Dick
  15. I would say the vast majority of color photos that were published in National Geographic prior to SLRs dominating the market in the 60s were shot with Leicas. 35mm Kodachrome was the main format for color travel photography from the 30s through the 50s and Leica was the king of 35mm. Same was true for color photojournalism, though few news photos were shot in color. Color advertising and commercial photography, typically done with medium or large format back then, was a different story of course. The large amount of B&W you're seeing today may be because anyone using a rangefinder today is inherently a traditionalist and B&W is as traditional as it gets.
  16. I have shot thousands of pictures with FUJI Velvia film with very good result. The cameras I used were M6 and M7. I have traveled with those cameras. They work very well under hard conditions. The cameras are neet and handy. It was a hard decision to go digital.
    Many of my images are landscape photos. The greater part of my images from American National Parks is taken with an old M6. I never had the feeling that my cameras was the limit to what I could do.
    The analog M cameras are smal, functional and well designed. Go for it.
  17. For example, try http://fiveprime.org/hivemind/Tags/slide,Leica for Leica slide shots on flickr.
  18. Thank you so much everyone for your indepth answers to quite a simple question. Risteard, when I moved to Dubai a few months ago, I found, to my horror, that flickr is a banned site!!! I can't go to flickr to see any photos. I would have loved to see your images. Perhaps if you have them on another site i could visit.
    For everyone, I would enjoy very much to visit your place and watch a slide show of your images shot with a Leica. In fact, now that I think about it, I've never seen a projected slide taken with a Leica. I currently use a Pentax LX and MZ-S with three Pentax Limited lenses (31mm, 43mm, 77mm) and I'm amazed at the clarity and colors of each well exposed image. Over the years I've learned to meter so that at least 90% of my roll is perfectly exposed. If they aren't 'keepers' then its usually because the composition is weak.
    Didier, thanks for the endless supply of Leica photos. It was a real treat to see all of them because your travel photography is much like my own. I would love to see these images projected.
    Thank you everyone... I'm getting closer to buying into Leica for the long run.
  19. I shot many thousands of Kocachromes with Leicas from a IIIf to M4 over a few decades because rangefinder cameras were more convenient than SLRs of that time for someone travelling lightly. I still chose the M4 for some work. Properly projected slides have a quality that prints can't match, although most projector lenses don't do justice to Leitz optics.
  20. First of all I must admit that I miss old Kodachrome II.
    Having said that I do think that Fuji Provia 100 F for landscape and urban photography and Fuji Astia 100 F for portarits etc. are truly fantastic films.
    Esa Kivivuori
    Please visit: http://esakivivuoriphotography.ning.com/
  21. I recall reading a quote once from an old school National Geographic photog from the 30-40's. He said something to the effect that in his mind, "Kodachrome, had been invented for use in the Leica camera". Many of N.G.'s great ,early photos were shot using this combination.
  22. The Leica M is the best tool I have ever found for slide film. I use a combo of an M3, MP-3 and M6TTL for my work in Kodachrome. The way light transmits from lens to film is much more lively and real with modern Leica glass.
  23. The Leica M is the best tool I have ever found for slide film. I use a combo of an M3, MP-3 and M6TTL for my work in Kodachrome. The way light transmits from lens to film is much more lively and real with modern Leica glass.
  24. recently I came from a trip to Zanzibar. I had two cameras. Nikon D90 (and a couple of Nikkor lenses) and Leica MP with 35mm Summilux ASPH f:1.4. I took quite a few photos but the ones that really impressed me were the ones taken with Leica and Velvia 50 film. See the post below:
  25. I'm surprised nobody has mentioned this but Provia 400x is one of the most versatile slide films..grain is like 100 speed film.
    Leica M7 with 35mm Summicron latest version (or 50mm Summicron latest version if you are a 50mm shooter) plus Provia 400x is a superb setup for travel.
  26. Thank you for the wonderful pictures with E6 and Leica Ms;
    I for the most use BW in my Leicas besides medium format Color work.
    in some of your responses, you state that there is still developping of Kodachrome somewhere (Europe or only US ?), as I still have a couple of Kodachromes in the fridge (I am quite sure I'm not the only one in that case), could you tell us where to develop ? I understand there is an end of year deadline attached...
    Thank you in advance

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